News From Space

NASA’s InSight Mars lander has detected the largest quake ever observed on another planet: an estimated magnitude 5 temblor that occurred on May 4, 2022, the 1222nd martian day, or sol, of the mission. This adds to the catalog of more than 1313 quakes InSight has detected since landing on Mars in November 2018. The […]
NASA announced on June 24 the Psyche mission, the agency’s first mission designed to study a metal-rich asteroid, will not make its planned 2022 launch attempt. Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft’s flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch […]
Astronomers discovered a rocket body heading toward a lunar collision late last year. The impact occurred March 4, with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) later spotting the resulting crater. Surprisingly, the crater is actually two craters, an eastern crater (18 meters in diameter, or about 19.5 yards) superimposed on a western crater (16 meters in […]
As the power available to NASA’s InSight Mars lander diminishes by the day, the spacecraft’s team has revised the mission’s timeline to maximize the science they can conduct. The lander was projected to automatically shut down the seismometer — InSight’s last operational science instrument — by the end of June to conserve energy, surviving on what […]
Parallel ice ridges in Greenland bear a striking resemblance to ridges on Jupiter’s ice-encased moon Europa, suggesting the moon’s icy shell could be riddled with pockets of water. This similarity could greatly improve the odds of NASA’s Europa Clipper mission detecting potentially habitable environments on the jovian moon. The spacecraft’s ice-penetrating radar instrument Radar for Europa Assessment and […]
For the past year, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has been traveling through a transition zone from a clay-rich region to one filled with a salty mineral called sulfate. While the science team targeted the clay-rich region and the sulfate-laden one for evidence each can offer about Mars’ watery past, the transition zone is proving to […]
An agreement between NASA and the U.S. Space Force recently authorized the public release of decades of data collected by U.S. government sensors on fireball events (large bright meteors also known as bolides) for the benefit of the scientific and planetary defense communities. This action results from collaboration between NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) and the […]
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will see the first galaxies to form after the big bang, but to do that its instruments first need to get cold, really cold. On April 7, Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) — a joint development by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) — reached its final operating temperature below […]
Scientists are about to get a new look at Mars, thanks to a multicolored 5.6-gigapixel map. Covering 86% of the Red Planet’s surface, the map reveals the distribution of dozens of key minerals. By looking at mineral distribution, scientists can better understand Mars’ watery past and can prioritize which regions need to be studied in […]
After collecting eight rock core samples from its first science campaign and completing a record-breaking 31-martian-day (or sol) dash across about 5 kilometers (3 miles) of Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover arrived at the doorstep of Jezero Crater’s ancient river delta on April 13. Dubbed “Three Forks” by the Perseverance team (a reference to the spot […]
After analyzing powdered rock samples collected from the surface of Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover, scientists have announced that several of the samples are rich in a type of carbon that on Earth is associated with biological processes. While the finding is intriguing, it does not necessarily point to ancient life on Mars, as scientists […]
Later this year, NASA is set to launch a probe the size of a tennis court to the asteroid belt, a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter where remnants of the early solar system circle the Sun. Once inside the asteroid belt, the spacecraft will zero in on Psyche, a large, metal-rich asteroid […]
Scientists were baffled last year while studying images of the martian surface taken at dawn by NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter. When they looked at the surface using visible light — the kind that the human eye perceives — they could see ghostly, blueish-white morning frost illuminated by the rising Sun. But using the orbiter’s heat-sensitive […]